Session A of this project is full. Click here to sign up for the waitlist.
Experience Costa Rica's incredible biodiversity! Spend the first half of your time abroad getting to know your host family in a rural community surrounded by lush green plants and chatter of tropical birds. You’ll work with Costa Rican students on a service project in your community before heading to one of the country’s stunning national parks for some hands-on volunteering, earning 155 service hours.

About the Region

Climate

Tropical

Terrain

Mountainous

Slang

pura vida = life is good, cool
sendero = trail

Food

Gallo pinto (rice and black beans), plantains, tortillas

Great for vegetarians!

AMIGOS History in the Region

AMIGOS has worked in Costa Rica for 35 years. We began working with CASA in 2004.

Past Service Projects

In Host Communities:

  • Painting murals in communal spaces
  • Building and painting fences on school yards so children can play safely
  • Communal chicken farms
  • Community gardens

In National Parks:

  • Trail maintenance
  • Informational signs about plants and animals
  • Building a footpath
  • Painting park ranger installations
  • Planting trees

Project Features

AMIGOS volunteers increase their language ability through immersion that goes beyond what can be achieved in a classroom. They improve their fluency, learn local slang, and increase their confidence with real-world practice.
Living with a host family is central to the AMIGOS experience. All host families volunteer to open their homes to young people from another culture. Volunteers and host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after the project has closed.
While in country, AMIGOS volunteers work on a community-led service project, where you'll earn 155 service hours. Every service project is unique, but each channels young people's ideas to create positive change.
The opportunity for independence and self direction makes AMIGOS unique. Volunteers shape their time in country according to their passions. the possibilities are endless - what each volunteer takes out of their experience is up to them!
Every Amigo is mentored by a member of our project leadership team through regular check-ins and personalized feedback. This allows volunteers to experience the independence that sets our programs apart, with the support of a passionate facilitator.
Volunteers build their leadership and community development skills through hands-on training. Not only is AMIGOS training fun and engaging, it gives them the necessary tools for success in the field and beyond.
  • National Chapter
  • Length
    4 weeks
  • Training Dates
    [FULL] Group Training Session A: June 7–11

    Group Training Session B: July 12–16
  • In-Country Dates
    [FULL] Session A: June 11–July 9

    Session B: July 16–August 13
  • Ages
    15–22
  • Price
    $6,350 (includes international airfare)
Want to go to Costa Rica?

Session A is full, but you can apply for Session B.

APPLY NOW
Working with the energetic elementary school kids for extracurricular activities and spending time with the fun and welcoming youth group has only helped my Spanish improve and made me feel more comfortable and a part of the community. I believe this is what AMIGOS is all about: not only engaging in cultural exchange, but completely immersing oneself and forming a second home and family. It’s these relationships that make this an unforgettable, truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Ashley, Costa Rica Project Volunteer
Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be age 15–22 on the project start date
  • Have two years of Spanish study or the equivalent

Pérez Zeledón Project EXAMPLE Itinerary

*Itinerary may be subject to change.

First Day – Participants from arrive. Project staff pick them up at the airport and the group travels together to Pérez Zeledón.

First Week – Briefing. Project staff members leads all participants in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Pérez Zeledón Project. This will take place at our partner agency, CASA. On the last day of briefing, we will have our bienvenida, where host families will pick you up and take you to your host community.

Week 1/2 – Live in a community with your host family. With your AMIGOS partner, plan and lead activities for kids on environmental topics. Start working on your service project alongside residents in your community.

Week 2/3 – Continue leading daily activities for kids and making progress on your service project.

Week 3/4 – Leave your community and head to one of three national parks! You’ll be with a group of students that is 50% AMIGOS volunteers from the U.S. and 50% Costa Rican students. Spend your days working on projects in the park, doing fun activities, and getting to know other volunteers.

Week 4 Despedida (goodbye party). Debriefing at CASA. You’ll come back together with all of the volunteers on your project, share your experience, and reflect on your time in Costa Rica.

Last Day – Fly home!